RPM.org FAQ

  1. There has not been any progress in RPM for years. Is this going to change?
  2. So where is RPM going?
  3. If there are so many changes - will RPM stay compatible?
  4. But how can RPM stay backward compatible if you are going to change the …
  5. Where is RPM hosted?
  6. Who is contributing to the RPM development?
  7. So RPM development is a game for the big players?
  8. How can I get write access to the wiki?

There has not been any progress in RPM for years. Is this going to change?

This has changed already. RPM is under active development again since May 2007. Have a look at your News page and the repository.

So where is RPM going?

Have a look at our roadmap for some immediate goals.

If there are so many changes - will RPM stay compatible?

Yes and no.

RPM will stay backward compatible to 4.4.2 for a quite long time. It is essential that third party packages can be installed without the need to recompile them - especially for enterprise distributions.

There are a large number of problems and requested features that will require major changes to more or less every part of RPM:

  • The RPM C headers export a lot internals into the API
  • A lot of code needs simplification or rewrite - sometimes touching the API
  • The Python bindings have problems on API level
  • Large file support requires a transition from 32 to 64 bit integer and though a change of the header format
  • several more - and some still unknown

So there will be quite massive changes in the future. Some of them we are addressing right now while others will have to wait - may be even for a year or more.

But how can RPM stay backward compatible if you are going to change the RPM binary format?

RPM will stay able to process RPM Version 4 packages so old packages will still work. But packages with large files will of course not work with now current versions of RPM. All those changes will not happen over night and it will take even much longer before they are going to be used in production.

Where is RPM hosted?

Everything at rpm.org - including the relaunched wiki, code repository, and mailing lists - is hosted at OSU Open Source Lab

Who is contributing to the RPM development?

The main contributors are of course the distributions that use RPM. Engineers within Red Hat, Novell, Mageia, and other organizations are working together.

So RPM development is a game for the big players?

No. There is still a lot of room for small (and big) improvements and contributions and patches are welcome. Feel free to ask questions about development on the mailing list (list-info).

How can I get write access to the wiki?

Create an account and ask for wiki write access on the rpm-maint@lists.rpm.org mailing list or at #rpm.org on the Freenode irc network. Do not forget to include your username in your request!